The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, in collaboration with the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) has organised the Second National Workshop to present the activities of Year II of the mutual project for Strengthening the National System of Tourism Statistics and Developing a Tourism Satellite Account of Seychelles which took place through a virtual forum on Tuesday 27th April 2021. This follows the first workshop held in 2019 at the Eden Bleu Hotel.
The Tourism Satellite Account (TSA) is an important tool to understand tourism as an intrinsic part of an economy and to describe it as an activity that has important impacts on other activities and sectors. A TSA, based on a robust System of Tourism Statistics (STS), can become a reliable instrument to monitor and to orient public policies on tourism development while serving as a powerful lobbying tool for National Tourism Administrations (NTAs) to advocate the cause of tourism.
In her opening remarks, the Principal Secretary for Tourism, Mrs. Anne Lafortune expressed her gratitude for the support and work completed by the UNWTO consultants. With emphasis on the importance to have quality data in order to develop informed policies and strategies she stated “in order to manage this sector effectively, we must be immersed in the reality of today’s economical state. To catalyze growth and enhance the sector, it is important to have quality data. Analysis from these data will lead to offering the possibility for the formulation of sound strategies and policies. This in itself promotes better plans and programs that allow for increased forecasting, leading to the achievement of goals”.
On her side the, Director, of the Regional Department for Africa UNWTO, Mrs. Elcia Grancourt conveyed a congratulatory message from the UNWTO Secretary General to Seychelles for taking the steps to re-open the country to tourism since March 2021.
Present during the virtual workshop were Government officials including representatives from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Tourism, National Bureau of Statistics, the Seychelles Tourism Board and the Seychelles Ports Authority. The workshop also saw the participation of members of the tourism trade such as the Seychelles Hospitality and Tourism Association.
The UNWTO consultants explained the principles of the TSA and provided a detailed update of the progress made in compiling a TSA thus far. The Consultants indicated that the main focus remains on inbound tourism statistics, domestic tourism and reconciling demand with the supply side of tourism. During the workshop, a comparison of Seychelles cruise sector and that of the Caribbean was also presented, where it was seen that the only differentiation between the two destinations is the availability of a wide range of commodities and services offered in the Caribbean for visitors to spend on during their holiday; the latter currently lacking in the Seychelles.
The consultants also highlighted on the improvement in availability of data following the introduction of the visitor management platform ‘Travizory’. As a result of the platform, information pertaining to identification of inbound visitors are available thereby assisting the National Statistics Bureau in the compilation of tourism statistics.
With the project entering its third and final phase this year, the Tourism Satellite account is expected to be completed in 2022.